5 Stars, Andrea Speed, Astrid Amara, Charlie Cochet, Ginn Hale, Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling, Reviewed by Lisa, Rhys Ford, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy – Edited by Jordan Castillo Price

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Title: Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

Authors: Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale, KJ Charles, Nicole Kimberling, Jordan L. Hawk, Charlie Cochet, Jordan Castillo Price, Andrea Speed, Lou Harper, Astrid Amara

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 509 Pages

At a Glance: With a lineup like this, how could this anthology have possibly gone amiss?

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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Review: If you’ve looked at this lineup of authors and thought to yourself that there’s no possible way this anthology could fail…you’d be absolutely right. For fans of speculative fiction, Charmed and Dangerous is a collection of wild wonderment that’s been long overdue. This company of ten of the genre’s consummate storytellers dug into their depthless cache of talent to ensure each of these tales lived up to the challenge presented to them: to create new worlds, to introduce both new and familiar characters within the allotted word count, and to do so without sacrificing a single iota of detail, imagination, or compromising the quality of each tale.

Mission: Accomplished

For me to give you a thorough rundown of every story in this omnibus would take more words than I’m positive you’re willing to read from me, so I’m not going to try. There are enough adjectives of a superlative nature in the English language that I can heap on this collection, and upon the heads of its authors, which could, and does, apply to every story in Charmed and Dangerous. Magical and mysterious, clever and charming, witty and wonderful, each of these stories is filled with curses and hexes and creatures of the mythical and metaphysical sort, and, in turn, the authors have given their characters the outlet to explore each of their worlds: where the impossible is made reality, where these men form a bond against a backdrop of danger, action, suspense, humor, dark and deadly magicks, and are given second chances at love.

Nine of these ten tales share a more common thread in their magic, while Charlie Cochet’s The Soldati Prince (what I feel is the most romance-centric of the collection) is a heartfelt and touching shifter fantasy that adheres to the mate bond theme inherent to that sub-genre. A theme it does share with several other of the stories, however, is sacrifice in the name of love. And may have made me a little teary eyed before its end.

From Rhys Ford’s mayhem-laden, humorous and action packed turn at a sex-cursed statue in an Alt U San Francisco Chinatown (which could have come only from the delectably madcap and marvelous mind of this author); to the post-revolutionary dystopian brilliance that is the genius Ginn Hale’s story of betrayal and salvation, Jack Swift and the Black Dog; to the always marvelous KJ Charles’ foray into hex magic and treachery and the promise of a new love (plus, that first line hooked me!); to the hyper-imaginative Nicole Kimberling’s extra-appropriately titled Magically Delicious, and its Lewis Carroll/Midsummer Night’s Dream world filled with leprechauns, mermaid-flesh dealers, goblins, and a deadly pixie dust mystery; to the extraordinarily talented Jordan Castillo Price and my beloved Victor Bayne and Jacob Marks, and a ghost clown all wrapped up inside a misogynist meninist’s wet dream; to the eloquent and fabulous Jordan L. Hawk’s perfect The Thirteenth Hex, a story for which I’m already begging a sequel because these characters and this world are oozing with everything that makes reading a magic unto itself; to the flawless Lou Harper’s unparalleled and all-consuming mystery One Hex too Many–the story that kept me on the hook from start to finish in not only its imaginative world building but in my love of its detectives Mulligan, Fox and Leslie; to the never to be outdone Andrea Speed’s oddball-in-only-the-best-way, strange-things-are-afoot-at-the-Quik-Mart, Josh of the Damned world where anything goes, from vamps to werewolves to zombies to human-sized lizards to giant animate mustaches…well, you get the picture; to the excellent The Trouble With Hexes, Astrid Amara’s beautiful close to the anthology, a story that’s dark magic and pure emotion and encompasses what it means to make the ultimate sacrifice for the one you love—these stories, each and every one of them, deliver a reading experience that’s meant to be devoured and savored all at once.

Whether you’ve only read one of these authors before, or, like me, you’ve read all ten, Charmed and Dangerous is a spec fic lover’s Wonderland… Or whatever it is you call that place we go during those not-quite-aware-of-reality moments when we lose ourselves in a great book.

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You can buy Charmed and Dangerous here:

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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Rhys Ford

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Charmed and Dangerous Blog Tour with Rhys Ford

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Today we’re pleased to welcome author Rhys Ford back to chat about Dim Sum Asylum, her contribution to the upcoming anthology Charmed and Dangerous, featuring some of the premiere spec fic authors in the genre. Enjoy Rhy’s post, then be sure to leave a comment right here for the chance to win a $25 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice.

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

Good luck!

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Charmed and Dangerous

A lot of us feel like we’re the left side of weird.

To be honest, many of us are and there we find ourselves, one another actually, standing on the left side of weird and thinking; you know this would be a good place to set up camp.

That’s kind of what it feels like to be a writer amongst writers. And sometimes, if you’re very lucky, you get invited to some really cool places to camp and some fantastic people to share a fire with. Marshmallows! S’Mores! Crazy insects out for your blood! But still, a universe of stars not only above you but around you.

When Jordan Castillo Price asked if I’d be in an anthology she was heading up, I said sure, mostly because I figured if JCP wants something, you give it to her. Kinda like a genre Wookie. Not because she’s gonna rip your arm off but mostly because let’s face it, Wookies are kind of cool.

She did NOT tell me who else was going to be on the docket. And I will admit—and have often admitted—that when she put out the list, I took a mental paper bag and huffed into it a few times because damn the line up. Shit hell, what have I gotten myself into? Said my little brain. Because one does not simply walk into this anthology and not have a really damned nice ring to toss into the lava.

Charmed and Dangerous was born. A vast land of possibilities and oh-my-god moments just waiting to happen. And we were off.

I’ve read all the other authors. And marveled at them. And fretted. Really, so much of writing is fretting.

Look at this lineup and say, sure… no worries, I can hang.

Astrid Amara, KJ Charles, Charlie Cochet, Ginn Hale, Lou Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, Nicole Kimberling, Jordan Castillo Price, Andrea Speed

Hah. I fret.

Then well, deadlines looming, I began to write. So did the others. Suffice it to say we all kind of blew past our 8,000 word mark. When it was all said and done, the anthology sat at over 100,000 words and oh the stories… damn the stories.

See, usually writing is a loner sport. Kind of like cross-country running. I think. I wouldn’t know. I grew up in a place where there wasn’t a lot of cross-country anything. You quickly run out of island after a bit. But still, writing…loner sport. It is. Even if you’re writing with someone, you’re kind of struggling to form words and ideas out of nothing and then passing that on for other people to see, hoping that you’ve hit the mark.

Guess it’s more like archery than running. But definitely as exhausting as running.

When we got the ARCs to look over our stories, I had the chance to read through the anthology as a whole and was humbled by the mastery of word and story from the other authors. Everyone talks about bringing an A-game to an anthology and in this case, it was more of everyone delivering proto-lingual skills because I truly believe this is one of the most innovative, fantastically crafted anthologies I’ve ever had a chance to read.

I am still shocked to be a part of it.

And very thankful.

Mostly thankful. So with much gratitude to Jordan Castillo Price, I extend my heartfelt thanks for including me. It was great to write a story and be included in Charmed and Dangerous. We were all given room to stretch our weirdness and found we could fly. So thank you for that too.

Charmed and Dangerous drops on Aug 25, 2015. I hope you grab it because I think it’s a buffet of tasty tasty words cooked up into the most delicious of dishes. Served up, of course, just on the left side of weird.

Purchase Charmed and Dangerous at Amazon.com

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charmed-cover-200Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

Take a cauldron full of magic, add a pinch of humor, a dash of snark and a huge dollop of m/m goodness, and what do you get? Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This all-new collection is packed with arcane action and intrigue, and every story will whisk you away to a fantastical world where the hero finds his prince and the paranormal investigator always gets his man.

Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

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Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

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KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

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Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Mart for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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Andrea Speed, Astrid Amara, Charlie Cochet, Cover Reveal, Ginn Hale, Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling, Rhys Ford

Cover Reveal: Charmed and Dangerous Edited by Jordan Castillo Price

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Magic takes many forms. From malignant hexes to love charms gone amok, you’ll find a vast array of spells and curses, creatures and conjurings in this massive collection—not to mention a steamy dose of man-on-man action. Charmed and Dangerous features all-new stories of gay paranormal romance, supernatural fiction and urban fantasy by ten top m/m paranormal authors.

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Releasing August 25, 2015, pre-order your copy now at Amazon

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THE LINEUP:

Rhys FordDim Sum Asylum

Ginn HaleSwift and the Black Dog

KJ CharlesA Queer Trade

Nicole KimberlingMagically Delicious

Jordan Castillo PriceEveryone’s Afraid of Clowns

Jordan L. HawkThe Thirteenth Hex

Charlie CochetThe Soldati Prince

Lou HarperOne Hex Too Many

Andrea SpeedJosh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom

Astrid AmaraThe Trouble With Hexes

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BLURBS:

Rhys Ford – Dim Sum Asylum
For Detective Roku MacCormick, working Arcane Crimes is his passion. Now cleared of any wrongdoing for shooting his last partner, MacCormick is given back his badge… as well as a new case and partner. Trent Leonard isn’t exactly what he’d expected, but then nothing in San Francisco’s Chinatown ever is.

Ginn Hale – Swift and the Black Dog
When Jack Swift killed a tyrant and won the revolution he became a national hero. But someone in the new government prefers dead heroes to living, swearing, cynical wizards. Caught between bullets, revenge and desire, Jack had better be swift indeed.

KJ Charles – A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Waste paper seller Ned Hall can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the wasteman and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Nicole Kimberling – Magically Delicious
Occult attacks against NIAD agents aren’t remotely Keith Curry’s department. But when his lover, Gunther, is assaulted, Keith refuses to just sit back and fill out paperwork. He’s on the case—even if that means enraging powerful mages, crossing leprechaun picket lines, or braving dinner with Gunther’s goblin parents.

Jordan Castillo Price – Everyone’s Afraid of Clowns
Psychic medium Victor Bayne can spot a ghost any day of the year, but Halloween holds some special surprises. His psych-groupie boyfriend Jacob coaxes him to the location of an old spirit sighting, but they can’t ghosthunt without enduring a cheesy “haunted house” that’s even more disturbing than they realize.

Jordan L. Hawk – The Thirteenth Hex
Hexman Dominic Kopecky doesn’t understand why dashing crow familiar Rook wants his help investigating murder by patent hex. For one thing, Dominic isn’t a witch. For another, the case is already closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Charlie Cochet – The Soldati Prince
Riley Murrough goes from serving lattes to being chased by demons. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bears the mark of a shapeshifter king from a magical realm. Riley’s determined to get answers, but if the demons out for his blood don’t kill him, the urge to strangle the arrogant king might.

Lou Harper – One Hex Too Many
Veteran detective Mike Mulligan is an expert on violent crimes—of the occult variety. He might even be cursed. Detective Hugh Fox is eager to partner up and prove himself, but Mulligan is accustomed to flying solo. Can they trust each other enough to track a killer who’ll stop at nothing, not even summoning a demon?

Andrea Speed – Josh of the Damned vs. the Bathroom of Doom
It’s a boring night at the Quik-Stop for Josh and his friend Doug. Until a vampire with a grudge—and the most adorable backup ever—crashes the store. Can Josh survive the Bathroom of Doom?

Astrid Amara – The Trouble With Hexes
P.I. Tim Keller has a problem. And the only person who can solve it is his ex-boyfriend, Vincent, whose job as a hexbreaker was the reason they broke up. It’s hard admitting he was wrong, especially when coughing up organs. But there’s a missing person to find, a hexmaker to hunt down, and a romance to repair before Tim breathes his last.

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TEASERS: 

We were just kids,” Jack muttered.

Shafts of afternoon light speared through the blinds, illuminating the hard angles of his lean face. He exhaled a cloud of pale blue smoke and ignored the glare of the well-dressed diners seated at other tables. In a moment a maitre’d would appear and smoothly suggest that he remove himself from the building.

Then, inevitably, David would intervene, flashing his ministry badge and pronouncing Jack’s full name a little too loudly, a little too officiously. A halting apology would be offered and followed by requests for autographs and photos. Behind it all Jack would hear the whispers.

That’s Jack Swift?

God, did you see his hand?

He looks like some ragman from the Bone Ledges.

I’ve heard he’s a queer.

Lifting his scarred hand, Jack drew the smoke down to ring his fingers. Let the surrounding diners see that the ragman in their midst was a wizard. They didn’t need to know which one. Any wizard was too much trouble for most decent folk.

-Swift and the Black Dog by Ginn Hale

§§§§§

From his square jaw and beefy build down to his dirty blond fade haircut, everything about the guy screamed ex-hardcore military. He moved as if expecting a riot to break out on the upper loft, icy blue eyes scanning each of us, stopping only long enough to mark our presence before moving on to the next cop.

He found me first and then again, last. His gaze pierced through me, assessing and judging in a way that did not say cop. I wasn’t sure what was found wanting, my shaggy mane or my odd ommatidia-faceted pupils, but something made his nostrils flare. I definitely spotted the moment he saw my pupils’ copper-green sheen. His head jerked back a few millimeters and his chin jutted out.

If my new partner had a thing against fae or fae-bred, we were assuredly going to have a problem.

-Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford

§§§§§

“Mr. Kopecky?”

“Yes, that’s….” Dominic began as he lifted his gaze from the paper. Then his tongue tangled, and he forgot how to speak.

The man standing in front of his desk was…well, he’d never thought of a man as beautiful before, but it was the only word that came to mind now. The white of his shirt collar contrasted with rich, brown skin. Silky black locks brushed his shoulders, and wide lips shaped into a rather cheeky grin.

“…You?” the man prompted, when Dominic only stared.

God! He dropped his eyes quickly, willing his reaction under control. He couldn’t forget himself at work, in full view of everyone. As he glanced down, his eye snagged on the badge pinned to the man’s vest.

A familiar? Here?

-The Thirteenth Hex by Jordan L Hawk 

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AUTHOR BIOS:

Astrid Amara
Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an advocate for animal rights, and a bureaucrat by day. After work she can usually be found writing, riding horses, hiking, or else sleeping. Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award. http://www.astridamara.com

KJCharles
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.
http://www.kjcharleswriter.com

Charlie Cochet
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
http://www.charliecochet.com

Rhys Ford
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist.

Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

But mostly to the coffee maker.
http://www.rhysford.com

Ginn Hale
Ginn Hale resides in the Pacific Northwest with her wife and three cats. She spends many of the rainy days tinkering with devices and words and can often be sighted herding other people’s dogs, bees and goats. Her novel Wicked Gentlemen won the Spectrum Award for Best Novel and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.
http://www.ginnhale.com

Lou Harper
Under a prickly, cynical surface Lou Harper is an incorrigible romantic. Her love affair with the written word started at a tender age. There was never a time when stories weren’t romping around in her head. She is currently embroiled in a ruinous romance with adjectives. In her free time Lou stalks deviant words and feral narratives.

Lou’s favorite animal is the hedgehog. She likes nature, books, movies, photography, and good food. She has a temper and mood swings.

Lou has misspent most of her life in parts of Europe and the US, but is now firmly settled in Los Angeles and worships the sun. However, she thinks the ocean smells funny. Lou is a loner, a misfit, and a happy drunk.
http://www.louharper.com

Jordan L Hawk
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.
http://www.jordanlhawk.com

Nicole Kimberling
Nicole Kimberling lives in Bellingham, Washington with her wife, Dawn Kimberling, two bad cats as well as a wide and diverse variety of invasive and noxious weeds. Her first novel, Turnskin, won the Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. She is also the author of the Bellingham Mystery Series.
http://www.nicolekimberling.com

Jordan Castillo Price
Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to rural small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” girls with tattoos and boys in eyeliner.
http://www.jordancastilloprice.com

Andrea Speed
Andrea Speed was born looking for trouble in some hot month without an R in it. While succeeding in finding Trouble, she has also been found by its twin brother, Clean Up, and is now on the run, wanted for the murder of a mop and a really cute, innocent bucket that was only one day away from retirement. (I was framed, I tell you – framed!)

In her spare time, she arms lemurs in preparation for the upcoming war against the Mole Men. Viva la revolution!
http://www.andreaspeed.com

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5 Stars, Historical Romance, KJ Charles, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Samhain Publishing

Review: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

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Title: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

Author: KJ Charles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 224 Pages

At a Glance: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is a book that deserves every bit of effusiveness aimed its way.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell

September 1914

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Review: The secret fear of a reader who loves a book enough to write a review of it is not that one can’t effuse enough but that one can’t effuse well enough to do that book justice. KJ Charles’ The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal is a book that deserves every bit of effusiveness aimed its way.

Robert Caldwell, journalist, and Simon Feximal, occultist and ghost hunter, were first introduced in a short story called The Caldwell Ghost, back in 2013. It was a story that begged to be expanded into a full length novel and, fittingly, is the chapter that introduces this collection of vignettes which Robert wrote—but not for publication during his and Simon’s lifetime. The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal are the chronicles in which Robert was finally able to include himself as a part of Simon’s life; not as the ghost hunter’s steadfast John Watson but as Simon’s lover, partner, confidante, and, ultimately, his savior and touchstone. And this alone gives the novel its piquant emotional edge.

One of the most immediate items of note in Robert and Simon’s exposé is the glorious way in which Charles weaves storytelling into the plot as not only an imperative of the stigmata that etches itself under Simon’s skin but also as a climactic source of conflict between Simon and Robert, then reinforces it as an ultimate validation of Robert’s place in the world they inhabit together. They are the stories withing the story, the scribe and the inscribed, telling and being the story at once. In Simon’s case, every story must be told for the dead to find peace; he is their page, the voices of the dead the ink, and he is their deliverer. In Robert’s case, the pen is mightier than the sword—he simply needed to fight for his rightful place in Simon’s life through written word, and this collection of chapters is his deliverance. Theirs is an unconventional relationship in a conventional time, and in this novel they have now been woven into the fabric of immortality.

The Victorian Era is notable as the collection’s setting, in that the puritanical climate of the time period weighs significantly against not only Robert and Simon’s relationship, but it also contrasts beautifully against the occult elements of the world in which Robert and Simon live and work together. There’s a built in contradiction of “good vs. evil” in terms of the strict moral codes of the time, no shortage of monsters of the human variety in this novel’s pages either, and then again as much in terms of the practitioners with whom Robert and Simon are sometimes forced to associate—namely in one Dr. Berry, who cloaks himself in righteousness while at the same time playing Atropos to the dead and Judas to his profession.

There’s somewhat of a “through the looking glass” layer to this story as well, in that it’s only with a mirror that the secrets on Simon’s skin can be translated. To the naked eye, Simon’s body is merely covered in an unending series of runes and dead languages from the world beneath the world, a never ending story needing to be written, stories that can only be translated in the backward reflection of the world in a mirror, and it leaves us to wonder what in the otherworld is behind the glass that knows so much more than we on this side of that fragile pane do. This translation throws into even sharper contrast the displacement of the occult in this version of England, and I can’t help but to love whatever Muse visited the author and inspired it.

Each of the chapters in this collection of Robert’s memories offers an emotional payoff: in the erotic, the horrific, the bittersweet, and the layering of each of our heroes as they evolve from their first wanton tryst into two complementary forces who each needs the other in every conceivable (and sometimes, inconceivable) way. This was not a simplistic building of a relationship—there are trials and communication missteps which make our heroes the realistic contrast to all the unreality they face on a day-to-day basis.

From a macabre butterfly obsession to a demented Pied Piper to the very human enemy bent upon destroying our Mr. Caldwell, KJ Charles has mined the depths of imagination to come up with another outstanding novel to add to her body of work. One can only imagine there are more stories Robert Caldwell had to tell, but he saved the best of them for this collection, ensuring the novel’s place as one of the best I’ll read in 2015.

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You can buy The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal here:

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Giveaways, KJ Charles, Samhain Publishing

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles

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The Novel Approach is please to welcome author KJ Charles today, along with an exclusive excerpt from her latest novel The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal. Enjoy the tease and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win one of three e-copies of the book being offered in the giveaway.

Good luck!

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Hi, and thanks to The Novel Approach for having me!

My new book, The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, comes out on 16 June, and I have an extract for you here, as well as a Rafflecopter giveaway of three copies, running across the blog tour.

Background: London, 1894, and there are ghostly goings-on at a young duke’s home. Journalist Robert Caldwell has been sent to get the story, on the grounds of his personal acquaintance with ghost-hunter Simon Feximal (which is quite a lot more personal than his editor suspects, since they’ve ended up in bed on both their previous meetings). But there’s no sign of Simon outside and no journalists are being allowed in…

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SecretCasebookOfSimonFeximal-The300Blurb: A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell

September 1914

Warning: Contains a foul-tempered Victorian ghost-hunter, a journalist who’s too curious for his own good, villainy, horror, butterflies, unusual body modifications, and a lot of tampering with the occult.

Buy Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US | ARe

Add It To Your Bookshelf At GOODREADS

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Excerpt:  Rodericks of the Gazette gave me a knowing look. “You are acquainted with the man Feximal, are you not?”

“I am.”

“I saw your copy from Winchester. Good stuff.” Rodericks narrowed his eyes. “You wouldn’t be planning to steal a march on us with personal association, would you, dear boy?”

I denied it utterly and insincerely. Murchison and Rodericks closed in on me.

“Listen, my boy,” Murchison told me quietly, while Rodericks glared our fellows away. “Hopkin got inside this morning, but the spook-shyers wouldn’t talk to him. Your pal Feximal marched him out. Poor fellow looked scared half to death, couldn’t say a word. The fact is, we’re all stumped, because it’s no good to get in if you can’t stay in. Now, if we can finagle you inside, do you suppose you can persuade Feximal to talk to you?”

“I might,” I said cautiously. I did not think it likely, but one should never say no before hearing the offer.

“You’d want to be reasonably sure. He’s a bruiser of a fellow.” I knew that well; his finger marks had lingered on my hips for days. “Because I’ve greased a servant here, and not used her yet, and I believe I can get a man inside.”

“Put him in his shirtsleeves,” Rodericks said, with a rude nod in my direction. “He’ll look just like the baker’s boy.”

“But it’s halves on the story, Bobster,” Murchison insisted. “I’ll want something exclusive.”

“Thirds,” Rodericks said over his shoulder. “The maid was my lead in the first place.”

“Halves, and you two split what I give you,” I said firmly. “If Feximal doesn’t want me in there he’s liable to tear me limb from limb.” What a thought. Simon truly angry with me was not a sight I wished to see, but Simon venting his outrage with a stern and punishing hand… I reined in my thoughts before they wandered too far from decency.

Murchison and Rodericks exchanged looks. “Halves,” they agreed without further argument, and I knew then that the task ahead of me should not be taken lightly.

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KJ CharlesAbout the Author: KJ Charles is a Rainbow Award-winning romance writer and freelance editor. She blogs about writing and publishing, spends too much time on Twitter, and has a Facebook group for book chat and sneak peeks. The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, a Victorian occult m/m romance, is coming from Samhain on 16 June.

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THE GIVEAWAY:

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have coming up at The Novel Approach in the coming week. The bottom line is: LOTS. We’ve got a really great roster of guests to bring you in the next six days, so here’s a look at what’s on tap.

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Monday – Author KJ Charles kicks off our week with a guest post and giveaway on the tour for her latest novel The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

We’ll also have Amy Lane with us today as she tours the interwebs to chat about her new book in Riptide’s Bluewater Bay series, The Deep of the Sound

Tuesday – Dropping in today, we have author Devon McCormack joining us with a blog post I’m looking so forward to sharing with you, as he shares a bit about the beginning of his writing career

We’ll also have your favorite drakul and mine joining us today—yes, Gray—and his creator, Jordan L. Hawk, with a special interview to celebrate the new book in Series 2 of the SPECTR-verse, Mocker of Ravens

Wednesday – Author Leta Blake is our guest today on the Training Complex blog tour, to talk about keeping the drama on the page

Indra Vaughn also joins us with a special and quite personal blog post on her Fragmented blog tour

And, as if that weren’t fantastic enough company, we’ll also have authors Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin with us to chat about their new collaboration In the Distance

Thursday – Today we’ll be hosting Shira Anthony as she tours in promotion of her new book in the Mermen of Ea series, Running with the Wind

Author Perie Wolford also joins us with a giveaway of his new audiobook Encounter

FridayParker Williams will be our guest today to chat about the paranormal on the tour for his new novel Scent of the Heart

We’ll also welcome the organizers of next month’s Rainbow Con to tell you all a bit about the event

Saturday – And finally, to close out our week, we’ll have author Iyana Jenna joining us on the Just Desserts book blast tour

As well as author S. Joy P. to talk about her controversial new historical novel We, King Henry VIII

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And that puts an end to a busy week. Until next time, happy reading!

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5 Stars, Historical Romance, KJ Charles, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Rena, Samhain Publishing

Review: Jackdaw by KJ Charles

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Title: Jackdaw

Author: KJ Charles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 189 Pages

At a Glance: Jackdaw is a wonderfully written romance between two all-too-human young men.

Reviewed By: Rena

Blurb: If you stop running, you fall.

Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.

Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah s chaotic existence all over again, and they re running together – from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them.

Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?

This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series.

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Note: If you haven’t read the entire Charm of Magpies trilogy, this review contains what could be considered a spoiler.

Review: As a big old fan of KJ Charles’ Charm of Magpies series, I was thrilled to see a new novel whose events take place in the same universe and timeline. If anything, the book is a kind of a sequel to Flight of Magpies, and not only do we enjoy the adventures of a completely different couple, we also get to see Stephen Day and Lord Crane as side characters who peripherally affect Ben and Jonah’s predicament, and also bid goodbye to England for better lives in the East.

The main difference between Jackdaw and the Magpies series is that Ben and Jonah’s story is a lot more grounded than Stephen and Lucius’. And that’s because our POV character is Ben, who’s an ordinary man who’s suffered horribly as a consequence of Jonah’s errors in judgment. And, yes, Jonah – who first appears in Charm of Magpies – is a windwalker, but he’s not a justiciar like Stephen nor is blessed (cursed?) with a bloodline steeped in deadly magic like Crane. Both Ben and Jonah are, in truth, simple men who’re deeply, deeply in love with each other and are desperately fighting for nothing more than a chance to live quietly and happily together. But as the blurb notes, not only are they up against some pretty dangerous sorts – law enforcement and justiciars – they also struggle against questions of trust, forgiveness, and second chances.

Just like Day and Crane, Ben and Jonah are made out to be very complex characters who, unfortunately, are up against some pretty overwhelming odds. Every difficulty in their relationship and past actions isn’t easily resolved because nothing’s in black and white. Painful questions regarding choices made in reference to sacrificing innocents in order to save one’s love are constantly thrown at both of them, and it’s pretty heartbreaking watching them deal with their conscience, especially when hard, inescapable facts force them to make ultimate sacrifices for each other in the climax of the book. They don’t have the benefit of a support group, unlike Day and Crane. They’re both outcasts on so many levels – both dirt poor, rejected by their families, and unemployed, with Jonah completely illiterate – swimming against rough currents without any hope for help, save from each other.

And because their relationship takes center stage in this book, one can’t help but wish the worst for Stephen Day sometimes, as he goes about his usual stick-up-the-butt, moral way. That said, I appreciate the fact that, again, everything’s laid out in so many different shades of gray that despite my resentment toward Stephen in some scenes, I’m also shown how human he is as a man who simply wishes to see justice done – and it’s so in character for him to hold on to the case like a little red-haired pit bull. Stephen’s heart’s in the right place, but he doesn’t get to see the truth as clearly as we’d like him to. As always, Crane gives us the much-needed spark of dark humor and clarity when things seem so bleak – the triumph of amorality, I think, in a world that can never be dealt with in black and white terms. It’s also a triumph in that it’s a concession, a willingness to see the good in imperfection despite the risks.

The plot takes us away from London and into a more bucolic environment: a village in Cornwall. At the very tip of southwestern England, it’s just the perfect place for two ordinary men to find the peaceful sanctuary they desperately need. Simple and rustic, filled with fishermen and other poor locals whose day-to-day concerns are nowhere near the bizarre, metaphysical events that shadow Stephen’s life as a justiciar and drive Crane batty as Stephen’s lover. There are so many parallels that can be drawn between the two couples and their respective environments, as well as the manner of, and reasons behind, their self-imposed exiles. As with the Magpies series, this book offers us something much more than just a surface reading of two lovers’ struggles, so a big hat tip to Charles for keeping up the complexity in her books.

Jackdaw is a wonderfully written romance between two all-too-human young men. With its less colorful and relatively quieter conflict compared to the three books in the Magpies series, we get to be brought down to earth in a sense, enjoy a more old-fashioned love story despite its darker, bloodier, and more magic-soaked past. The shift in focus toward an idyllic backdrop in rural England also serves to complete Stephen and Crane’s story in a bittersweet yet triumphant way. While Charles could’ve easily written a full novel about their departure from England, I’m glad she chose to approach it in this manner. There’s no complicated melodrama, no craziness, no destructive magic shrouding them this time – just a simple, quiet exit that lends them a certain melancholy dignity, bolstered by the rustic perfection of Ben and Jonah’s new life together.

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You can buy Jackdaw here:

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KJ Charles, Samhain Publishing

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: Flight of Magpies by KJ Charles

Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

A Charm of Magpies: Book Three

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying—literally—off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.

When a thief strikes at the heart of Crane’s home, a devastating loss brings his closest relationships into bitter conflict—especially his relationship with Stephen. And as old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies paint the lovers into a corner, the pressure threatens to tear them apart.

Product Warnings: Contains hot-blooded sex, cold-blooded murder, sinister magical goings-on and a lot of swearing.

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5 Stars, Historical Romance, KJ Charles, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Rena, Samhain Publishing

Review: Flight of Magpies by KJ Charles

Title: Flight of Magpies

Author: KJ Charles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 212 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.

A Charm of Magpies: Book 3

With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student who is flying – literally – off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane, is beginning to feel the strain. Continue reading

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Aleksandr Voinov, Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Jordan L. Hawk, Kaje Harper, KJ Charles, Self-Published, Tamara Allen

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway – Another Place in Time Blog Tour: Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper

Welcome to another place in time…where one can be swept away into lands and eras long forgotten.

This collection of short stories was birthed because a sworn “I don’t like historicals” reader fell in love with what have become some of her favorite books by most of her favorite writers. Surprisingly, they were all historicals. Determined to make others feel the love, these authors were asked to contribute small tastes of how amazing historical storytelling can be.

Included in this anthology:

“Office Romance” by Tamara Allen
“Introducing Mr. Winterbourne” by Joanna Chambers
“The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh” by KJ Charles
“Unfair in Love and War” by Kaje Harper
“Carousel” by Jordan L. Hawk
“Deliverance” by Aleksandr Voinov Continue reading

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KJ Charles, Samhain Publishing

From Title to Book – “Think of England”: A Guest Post and Giveaway From KJ Charles

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I don’t usually have a title when I write a book. They tend to come late, if at all. Occasionally a line will strike me as the perfect title but more often I’ll be sat there scrabbling around for anything that has the remotest connection to the book and sounds even vaguely appropriate. My Word files are called things like ‘Magpie 3’, ‘Current Project, ‘New Simon Feximal’ and ‘Book’.

Think of England was different.
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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Charlie Cochet, GayRomLit, Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Lex Chase, Lisa Worrall, Mary Calmes, Nikka Michaels, S.A. McAuley, SE Jakes

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week – And , P.S., I Need Reviewers


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had a great week.

Before I get to the week ahead, I’m looking for a few good reviewers. If you, or anyone you know, loves to read, will read from a variety of sub-genres (though that’s not a deal breaker), and loves to devour books then share your opinion on them, please fill out the contact form below because I want you to join the team.

Previous experience isn’t necessary, but if you review on your own blog, Amazon, or Goodreads, I’d like to read a sample of your work, so please leave a URL link in the comment box as well.

I look forward to hearing from you!
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5 Stars, KJ Charles, Reviewed by Lisa, Samhain Publishing

Betrayal And Danger Abound In KJ Charles’ “Think of England”

Title: Think of England

Author: KJ Charles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Lie back and think of England…

England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.
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Jordan L. Hawk, KJ Charles, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published, Smashwords

KJ Charles And Jordan L. Hawk, The Scream Team Behind “Remnant”


“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde


Title: Remnant

Author: KJ Charles and Jordan L. Hawk

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 51 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: London, 1899. The beautiful people are dying…
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KJ Charles, Samhain Publishing

“A Case of Possession” Is A Masterpiece Of The Macabre


“There now ensued a series of incidents which transported me to the opposite extremes of ecstasy and horror; incidents which I tremble to recall and dare not seek to interpret.” – H.P. Lovecraft



Title: A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2)

Author: KJ Charles

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 159 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.
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KJ Charles, Torquere Press

“The Caldwell Ghost” Is Spooktacular With A Side Of Sextastic



“A ghost is a knot in the otherwise smooth flow of time… And sometimes a ghost is a shared thing.” ― Cole Swensen


I’m just going to say this right out loud ::clears pipes:: — There are some authors who shouldn’t be allowed to write short stories. There. Said. Now, let me explain why I feel this way. There are some writers whose prose is so magnetic, whose stories are so engrossing, whose characters are so intriguing that they should be given many, many words and paragraphs and pages within which the reader can become so lost that s/he forgets about the outside world for more than the space of a brief interlude with imagination.

KJ Charles has officially been put on notice.
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Samhain Publishing

“The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) Is Indeed A Charm. And Lord, Is It Good!



“The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.” – William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”



They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The danger in that bid for the ultimate control, of course, is that there is always someone who is more corrupt and more powerful than yourself. Power then becomes a game of survival of the fittest, in which the weakest of the powerful are doomed to succumb to the covetous ways and unscrupulous means by which the competition will most eagerly eliminate, permanently, the nuisance you have become.

Then again, sometimes death is simply a matter of revenge.

Murder in a most macabre and mystical fashion is at the heart of KJ Charles’ The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, Book One), and it is utterly and deathly divine.

Lucien Vaudrey, now reluctantly known as Lord Crane, knows firsthand what it means to witness someone pay for his sins in a most grim and grisly fashion, if not in the example of his father and brother, then in his own frightening and incomprehensible desire to commit an act of self-murder. The only difference between himself and his unsavory relations, however, is that while his father and brother deserved an untimely and gruesome demise, Lucien is guilty of nothing more than sharing their blood and surname, but now he must also share a portion of the loathing that goes along with them. The son who was rejected by the father may have been spared the taint of his sire’s corruption, but he could not escape retribution.

Stephen Day is a man who knows all too well what the Vaudrey men are capable of, or at least Quentin and his favored son Hector, who laid waste to Stephen’s family with neither hesitation nor remorse. Stephen Day is also a man who may be slight in stature but holds within himself a power more deadly than most anyone—or anything—can challenge, and Lucien is desperately in need of that power. Though it would be understandable and most justifiable if Stephen were to withhold it, given Lucien’s lineage. To offer Lucien help is to save his life—a life that, in the opinion of many, isn’t worth sparing.

Fans of gothic horror, historical fiction, gripping mystery, tight prose, rich plots and multi-dimensional characters are in for a solidly entertaining read in The Magpie Lord. I’m tempted to add many exclamation points here because I’m so excited about the first book in this series!!! There. Done.

This is a book of lust in so many ways: the lust for power and the lust for sex and the lust to be connected to someone, and the final outcome of all that desire is sex magick and a blood bond and a link which forms an unbreakable tether between two men that I can’t wait to see expanded in the coming installments in this series. Evil has escaped, after all. When that happens, there’s always more to come.

This is a story of loyalty and insanity and hideous crimes, where curses rein and secrets are discovered. It is a place where a house becomes a purgatory of horrors, void of energy that threatens to strip one man of his strength and send the other to his grave, unless they can discover a way to tap into the Magpie Lord’s power.

I won’t hesitate for a minute to recommend this book enthusiastically, and it’s one I await the sequel to anxiously!

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpie’s #1) here:

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